SUBJECTS THAT FASCINATE ME

The Greenman's Forest
graphite, ink, watercolour, watercolour pencils
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The Green Man or Foliate Face has fascinated me ever since my teens. It's a subject I have explored very little in my art but one that I think about often. I created this piece depicting the Green Man watching from its place of power (the forest) in response to a challenge from my youngest child: "Draw something from your mind Daddy." And so, I did.

Cro-Magnon Man, 17,000 years
ink
Neanderthal Child, 30,000 years
ink
Mandal Man, 12,000 years
ink
Neanderthal Woman, 36,000 years
ink
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G. J. Sawyer et al's book The Last Human: A Guide to Twenty-Two Species of Extinct Humans knocked me over when I first read it, but it was master sculptor Elisabeth Daynes' reconstructions of Homo Sapiens, Neanderthals, and other early human species that truly captivated me.

I encourage you to visit Elisabeth Daynes' website and explore the beautiful and lifelike reconstructions she created using fossil records and forensic technology. The ink drawings on the left are based on her reconstructions.

Stone Faces of Halifax
graphite, ink, watercolour
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Svein Solem's Tomten with Lantern
ink, watercolour
L. Helje's Tomten with Cat & Mouse
ink, watercolour
H. Wiberg's Tomten Ink Study
ink
Tomten 3
ink, water-soluble markers
H. Wiberg's Tomten
marker
H. Wiberg's Tomten
ink, watercolour
Tomten 4
ink, watercolour
Jenny Nystrom's Tomten with Porridge
ink, watercolour
K. Midthun's Tomten, Bird, and Egg
ink, watercolour
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The subject of this piece is the stunning stonemasonry found around the city of Halifax. In Stone Faces of Halifax, I set out to draw four stone faces from four separate buildings or structures in the South End of the city. Three of those faces (Green Man, Mary Queen of Scots, Lion) were the work of the very talented Scottish born stonemason George Lang (1821-1881). The fourth face was designed by Canadian architect John Lyle (1872-1945).

The faces can be viewed on the following buildings:

  1. Green Man (Halifax Provincial Court, Spring Garden Road)

  2. Mary Queen of Scots (Queen of Scots Inn, Queen Street)

  3. Foliate Face of Abundance (Scotia Bank Head Office, Hollis Street)

  4. Lion (Welsford-Parker Monument, Barrington Street)

In early December Tomtens invaded the house. Not literally; there were no small dwarf-like and gnome-like creatures running amok in the days leading up to Christmas, but we did become fascinated with the little people. My youngest, who has always been a huge fan of Astrid Lindgren and Harald Wiberg's book The Tomten, asked if we could leave out a bowl of porridge with butter for our house Tomten (a test to see if we did indeed have one in the house) and sure enough most of the porridge was eaten!

Our fascination grew quickly, and I started to sketch and draw the Tomten with Swedish artist Harald Wiberg's archetypal Tomten as my influence. On the left you will find my other depictions of the Tomten influenced by Swedish artists John Bauer and Lennart Helje, as well Norwegian artist Kjell Midthun.

© 2019 by ROBERT MARTEL

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

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Svein Solem's Tomten with Lantern

ink, watercolour